The large-scale destructiveness he has previously wrecked upon public and private property (including entire cities), Michael Bay visits on the human body in Pain & Gain, a pulverizing steroidal farce based on a bizarre-but-true kidnapping-and-murder case. Suggesting Fargo by way of the Three Stooges, Bay’s latest certainly proves that the Transformers auteur does have something more than jacked-up robots on his mind: specifically, jacked-up muscle men who will stop at nothing to achieve their deeply twisted notion of the American dream. With a very fine ensemble cast recruited to play an array of overtly despicable characters, this unapologetically vulgar, sometimes quite funny, often stomach-churning bacchanal will surely prove too extreme for great swathes of the multiplex crowd. But the marquee value of topliners Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, plus the pic’s reportedly modest $25 million pricetag, spells more gain than pain for Paramount’s box office pecs. more »
Offering a more straight-faced brand of idiocy than its cheerfully dumb 2009 predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation might well have been titled G.I. Joe: Regurgitation, advertising big guns, visual effects and that other line of Hasbro toys with the same joyless, chew-everything-up-and-spit-it-out efficiency. Largely devoid of personality, apart from a few nifty action flourishes courtesy of helmer Jon M. Chu, Paramount’s late-March blockbuster, pushed back from a 2012 release (ostensibly to allow for a 3D conversion), may have trouble matching G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’s $302 million worldwide gross. But with no shortage of merchandising and other cross-promotional opportunities, it should still score significant attention from targeted male viewers. more »
Ric Roman Waugh says his career as a Hollywood stuntman played a "huge" role in his transition to writer-director. "It gave me a sense of the narrative process," says the Snitch filmmaker. "I could come into a piece of material and then put my stamp on it narratively, but also construct it in a way that I know, production-wise, [will] make it completely organic and real.
"You don't know if a guy like Dwayne [Johnson] is gonna come in and have the same persona as The Rock, or, is he gonna be able to immerse himself," Barry Pepper told me at the recent Snitch press junket. "He was just so dedicated to the film...I was really impressed."
There's a lot to look at in this international trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Explosions. The muscled forms of Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson. More explosions. Masked men engaging in ninja sword fights while suspended from a snowy mountain. Avalanche! Jonathan Pryce appearing to reprise his role as the Bond villain in Tomorrow Never Dies. Bruce Willis making cracks about his cholesterol after a near-death experience. Wait! What? Isn't that what John McClane does in the Die Hard movies — like A Good Day to Die Hard, which hits movie theaters a month and a half before the G.I. Joe sequel? more »
G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu and star Dwayne Johnson popped up to unveil a new trailer for the exhibition pros Monday night at CinemaCon, where The Rock was dubbed the CinemaCon Action Star of the Decade and described with a nickname that's been floating around here and there for months: "Franchise Viagra." The new Rock-centric trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation seems to agree with that sentiment. So watch it below and discuss: Could Johnson's muscle-bound box office draw enhance just any limp franchise's potential?
Exciting news for Gina Carano fans: According to a THR report, the Haywire star/former MMA fighter is in talks to join the cast of Justin Lin's Fast & Furious 6. Carano would play a member of the Diplomatic Security Agent working under Dwayne Johnson's agent Luke Hobbs, who was last seen in the post-credits of Fast 5 sniffing out the trail of Dominic Toretto & Co. Details on the plot are still under wraps, but give how the last sequel ended it doesn't seem too far-fetched to hope for a potential... girl fight, if you will, between Carano's character and a certain franchise favorite. Do you believe in fighting ghosts? [THR]
If it takes you a beat to remember the movie to which Journey 2 is a follow-up, that may not just be because the makers have opted for a trimmer title than, say, the marquee-busting, geographically confusing Journey to the Center of the Earth: The Mysterious Island.
To say nothing of the Journey 2, G.I. Joe 2, and Fast Five star's definition of "impact": "Right now the best way that I can impact the world is through entertainment. One day, and that day will come, I can impact the world through politics. The great news is that I am American, therefore I can become President." [Huffington Post]
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joking about the Titanic. Luiz Guzman flying a helicopter while wearing a mini guitar. Future Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens riding a giant flying bumblebee. Michael Caine. If you chose "Michael Caine" as the thing that does not make sense in the trailer for Brad Peyton's 3-D Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel, you would be correct. Ahead though, to over-sized vomiting insects, over-serious line readings and Oscar winner Michael Caine!
Mortal Kombat isn't the most esteemed video game franchise, but its coterie of bloodthirsty fighters is one of the most beloved in gaming history. Sure, the 1995 movie adaptation was a dud, but it was a magnificent dud with a throbbing Jock Jams soundtrack and a provocative cast. (Where have you gone, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras?) Since the 2013 reboot has a chance of reigniting interest in the age-old series, let's cast our dream players in five of the main roles.